Controlled Delivery of Sdf-1 Alpha and Igf-1: Cxcr4(+) Cell Recruitment and Functional Skeletal Muscle Recovery
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Therapeutic delivery of regeneration-promoting biological factors directly to the site of injury has demonstrated its efficacy in various injury models. Several reports describe improved tissue regeneration following local injection of tissue specific growth factors, cytokines and chemokines. Evidence exists that combined cytokine/growth factor treatment is superior for optimizing tissue repair by targeting different aspects of the regeneration response. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of the controlled delivery of stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha (SDF-1 alpha) alone or in combination with insulin-like growth factor-I (SDF-1 alpha/IGF-I) for the treatment of tourniquet-induced ischemia/reperfusion injury (TK-I/R) of skeletal muscle. We hypothesized that SDF-1 alpha will promote sustained stem cell recruitment to the site of muscle injury, while IGF-I will induce progenitor cell differentiation to effectively restore muscle contractile function after TK-I/R injury while concurrently reducing apoptosis. Utilizing a novel poly-ethylene glycol PEGylated fibrin gel matrix (PEG-Fib), we incorporated SDF-1 alpha alone (PEG-Fib/SDF-1 alpha) or in combination with IGF-I (PEG-Fib/SDF-1 alpha/IGF-I) for controlled release at the site of acute muscle injury. Despite enhanced cell recruitment and revascularization of the regenerating muscle after SDF-1 alpha treatment, functional analysis showed no benefit from PEG-Fib/SDF-1 alpha therapy, while dual delivery of PEG-Fib/SDF-1 alpha/IGF-I resulted in IGF-I-mediated improvement of maximal force recovery and SDF-1 alpha-driven in vivo neovasculogenesis. Histological data supported functional data, as well as highlighted the important differences in the regeneration process among treatment groups. This study provides evidence that while revascularization may be necessary for maximizing muscle force recovery, without modulation of other effects of inflammation it is insufficient.